UCL Summer School


Global London: Contemporary Urbanism, Culture and Space

Key Information

Module code
Taught during
Session One
Module leader
Hayley Gewer
None. Standard UCL Summer entry criteria apply.
Assessment method
Portfolio of fieldwork (50%), Essay (50%)
Download syllabus (PDF)
Global London: Contemporary Urbanism, Culture and Space

Module overview

London is truly a global city. An international centre of culture and art, business and finance, education and research and tourism: the city is also home to people from all over the world who help shape and characterise its diversity. Despite its status as a global city, London must also be understood as an ordinary city; one of the hundreds of large cities around the world where people negotiate their daily routines of living, working, travelling and sharing space with others. This course will use London as a springboard to explore ways that contemporary cities are being theorized, experienced and understood.

A mixture of seminars and fieldwork will introduce you to a range of interdisciplinary themes within urban studies and provide you with the opportunity to encounter and learn from what the city of London has to offer as well as the contradictions it produces. Giving you the opportunity to think critically about and through your temporary stay in London, the course aims to challenge you to consider your own relations to, and place within, an increasingly urbanised world.

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module, students will:

  • Have been introduced to key academic theories, frameworks and concepts for understanding contemporary urbanism and cities;
  • Have had the opportunity to reflect on and apply these theories and concepts to London and to their own cities;
  • A sound understanding of London’s local particularities, global connections and place within a world of cities
  • Have developed an understanding of the complexities and diversities contained within contemporary urban life, both in London and in other cities across the globe
  • Have utilised case studies, fieldtrips, classroom tasks and personal portfolios to better record and understand urban processes
  • Have experimented with different methods to observe, engage with and analyse data around everyday urban experiences and practices
  • Have produced clear, coherent and academically well-supported written reports
  • Have reflected critically on decisions, learning styles, and research undertaken to be able to improve one’s own engagement in both independent and team work

Module prerequisites

This is a level one module (equivalent to first year undergraduate). No prior subject knowledge is required to study this module but students are expected to have a keen interest in the subject area.

Module hours

Classes (usually three or four hours per day) take place on the Bloomsbury campus from Monday to Friday any time between 9am and 6pm.


  • 2,000-word essay (50%)
  • Portfolio of fieldwork (50%)

Module leader

Hayley Gewer is an urbanist and academic English language tutor. She is currently undertaking research in Johannesburg, around urban densification and resilience; and the intersection between informality, livelihoods and urban poverty.

Application information

Register your interest

Register interest in your chosen modules and receive notice of visits to your country and more

Register now

Follow us

Follow the UCL Summer School for Undergraduates on Facebook Follow the UCL Summer School for Undergraduates on Instagram